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Filipinas dominate higher-ranked Papua New Guinea in 5-1 match

PRESSING high and winning the ball in dangerous areas, the Filipinas opened a 2-0 lead on Carleigh Frilles’ left-footed shot at the 29th and Tahnai Annis’ neat finish nine minutes later. — PFF

CARLEIGH Frilles fired a brace to power the Philippines to a 5-1 romp over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the first of their two friendly matches Sunday at the Western Sydney Wanderers Park in Australia.

Ms. Frilles blasted goals in each half while skipper Tahnai Annis, veteran Eva Madarang and sub Meryll Serrano also struck as the No. 53 Filipinas dominated an opponent ranked two places higher in the FIFA rankings.

“Good opportunity to play a game where we could dominate possession again and give some more players critical game time,” said Philippine coach Alen Stajcic, whose squad is holding a camp in Sydney as part of its buildup for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Pressing high and winning the ball in dangerous areas, the Filipinas opened a 2-0 lead on Ms. Frilles’ left-footed shot at the 29th and Ms. Annis’ neat finish nine minutes later.

PNG pulled one back at the 50th with Calista Maneo nodding the ball in but the Philippines countered with Ms. Madarang’s header, Ms. Frilles’ second and Ms. Serrano’s goal off the bench.

“Even though we were a bit rusty and clunky at times, there were some really good moments, too. Looking forward to building for the next game on Thursday,” said Philippines coach Alen Stajcic.

The return match will also be played at the Wanderers’ Park and will mark the Filipinas’ final game for the year. — Olmin Leyba

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